A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Salzburg's Altstadt is not so much city as open-air history museum. The prince-archbishops that ruled the city for nearly a thousand years had the money and the ambition to build churches and palaces to reflect their worldly as well as spiritual power. Fortunately for visitors, many of these monuments remain.
The single-most historically important site in the Altstadt is the impressive Festung Hohensalzburg, the enormous fortress that overlooks the city from its perch on Mönchsberg mountain. A tour of the Festung will take up a good part of a morning or afternoon; it will reward you with an grounding in the history of Salzburg as well as spectacular views of the region.
Nearby, also on Mönchsberg, is Convent Nonnberg. This is the oldest continuously occupied convent north of the Alps. It was founded by St Rupert in 714; he installed his niece, who would become Saint Erentrudis, as abbess. The modern visitor, however, may be more familiar with another woman associated with the convert. Nonnberg is where Maria Augusta Kutschera was a novice before being employed as governess by Georg von Trapp.
Of the two residences associated with Mozart in Salzburg, we've included in the Top Ten the Mozart Wohnhaus (Mozart Living House) on the right bank of the Salzach. It is now home to an exhibition about Mozart, with an extensive look at his music and his life in the city.
Away from the city centre lies Salzburger Freilichtmuseum (Open Air Museum Salzburg) in Hasenweg. This large park features a range of rural dwellings dating to the 16th century, as well as demonstrations of crafts and country life. It offers real insight into life in the country over the course of several centuries.
And for a peek into history before Roman times, a trip to the Celtic Museum in Hallain is well worth the journey. Its modern exhibitions bring prehistoric Salzburg to life.
Largest fortified structure in Europe... read more
Salzburg's Most Famous Shopping Street... read more
Sankt Peter Bezirk
Salzburg's oldest cemetary blooms with flowers...
Mozart's home: See instruments he played... read more
Learn about ancient agriculture or grab a beer at their historical pub... read more
Historic pilgrimage church overlooking the city of Salzburg... read more
Explore the world of the Celts and see how salt was mined... read more